24 year old expectant father shot dead by police in ‘hard stop’
by Mikey Powell Campaign
Originally published 29 July 2005
News updates listed at the foot of this item
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) launched an investigation following the death of an expectant Father, 24-year-old Azelle Rodney, who was shot dead in the back seat of a car by a police officer in Edgware on Saturday 30th April 2005. There were two other occupants in the car, Wesley Lovell, aged 26, and Frank Graham, aged 23 years old.
In what is being described as a ‘pre-planned operation’, Metropolitan police officers had been following the young men for some considerable time.
The vehicle was stopped and surrounded by unmarked police cars in Hale Lane, Edgware, north-west London. Azelle was shot dead in the back seat of the car, and contrary to earlier press reports, to date there is no evidence that Azelle was ever seen holding a Gun. The officer involved in the shooting was removed from firearm duties and given a desk Position soon after the fatal incident.
An IPCC spokesman said, “The incident took place at around 8pm on a Saturday night, near a pub and restaurant, so a lot of people were there to see it.” The IPCC appealed for witnesses shortly after Azelle’s death.
“It’s a shocking incident,” said the IPCC’s senior investigator, Simon Cousins. “It must have been a huge shock for anybody close to it. It’s obviously a distressing thing to see. “But we would like anybody who might have been shocked at the time, but now has had time to think, to come forward to talk to us.”
The family of Azelle Rodney visited the scene soon after the shooting to lay wreathes. Bouquets left at the scene carried heartfelt messages from close relatives and friends. “The family were upset when they came,” said Mr Cousins. “It was a hard day for them as they are grieving.”
Azelle’s mother, Susan Alexander has campaigned tirelessly since his death. A family spokesperson said, “Azelle was a very caring, sensitive, funny and generous person who always had a big grin on his face. He will be greatly missed by his mother, father, 2 brothers, partner, extended families, friends, and community. “The family would like to express their sincere thanks and kind words of comfort and support throughout these days of sadness.”
Azelle’s baby daughter was born the day before his funeral, and now sadly his partner, Monique, and daughter will face a life without him. The church service took place at St Mary’s Church, Barnes on Friday 3rd June 2005 and Azelle Rodney’s Internment was conducted at Bedfont Cemetery. Azelle’s brothers said, “Big Bro watch over me. Brothers are forever. Love you Bro.”
Deborah Coles from the pressure group INQUEST said, “Azelle’s family and friends are devastated and shocked by the death and are currently awaiting details of the incident. “Azelle’s family want the criminal investigation into Azelle’s killing to be conducted fearlessly and thoroughly, but also speedily, so that a CPS decision on criminal charges can be made as soon as possible.”
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Death of Azelle Rodney (Wikipedia)